There’s a lot to think about when it comes to hiring influencers, and in 2019, there’s more of them than ever. Vetting creators takes time, alongside watching hours of content, measuring metrics and making sure each person you consider is a good fit for your brand. It takes time.
When Corsair launched a streamer program to bring some passionate creators on board, the company received over 10,000 applicants from creators all around the globe.
To help manage the chaotic influx of applications, Corsair looked to influencer marketing platform Sideqik.
Corsair’s prowess in the PC gaming space combined with Sideqik’s tech created a streamlined process allowing the company to find and secure the best-fitting influencers to join the streamer program. With Sideqik’s aid, Corsair was able to create a compelling program with four tiers that cater to creators all of sizes.
We spoke to Sideqik CEO Jeremy Haile about the company’s work with Corsair, and why it’s paramount for brands to be taking part in the influencer marketing marathon in 2019.
InfluencerUpdate.biz: So tell us a bit about the Corsair streamer program, why it was set up and what did Corsair want to achieve?
Jeremy Haile: When it comes to finding people to work with, there are two ways that I think about it. One is finding the right people, reaching out to build those relationships, and the other way is people that raise their hand and come to you to say that they love your brand and want to partner with you.
I think Corsair has built a great brand, and there's a lot of people that love it. The streamer program is primarily inbound, people are reaching out to them and saying they want to be an ambassador for the company they already love.
So the program is designed to build a stronger relationship with streamers that love Corsair and the brand as a way to support them.
When sifting through over 10,000 applicants, what factors were considered before deciding to sign an influencer?
The word that is used a lot is authenticity, so I think one question to ask is "do you authentically love this brand?". This sets them apart from someone who's just trying to capitalise on their audience.
Another factor is the quality of the content, and whether the content appropriate - is it something that Corsair want to be represented by. There's also some obvious metric orientated things too like how much engagement they get, subscriber counts, etc. That's how we decide which streamers go into different tiers.
Gaming is a huge part of Corsair’s brand, and gaming has become one of the biggest areas of influencer marketing. Why do you think it's important for Corsair to incorporate streamers into its marketing?
Streaming is huge, especially among the new generation of upcoming gamers. Watching a stream is becoming like watching TV for them. It's also more interactive and the medium has become super compelling.
There's a bigger shift happening where everything is moving from traditional media to online, and the way people find out brands and products is changing and coming from new media, be it streaming or YouTube etc. That trend will continue, so if a brand is not present where their consumers are discovering products, then they're not going to be as relevant.
If a brand is not present where their consumers are discovering products, then they're not going to be as relevant.Jeremy Haile
Having their products alongside gamers and being loved by gaming streamers is critical for them to be top of mind for customers.
What are the benefits of setting up an in-house influencer community as opposed to just hiring them from an external company?
What we've really focused on is taking the parts that companies are having to do manually - reviewing an application and vetting streamers is a time-consuming process, especially if you're talking 10,000 applicants. So what we try to do is provide insights to help our customers and figure out who to work with quickly.
I see the trend moving more in that direction. I think what people are realising in this new online world is that the creators who love your brand are an asset to it.
I think owning and nurturing that relationship is really important both because those people can be very influential and have an impact on your business. There's also a difference in feeling from creating your own relationships than just going through a third party agency.
Doing it yourself does increase the commitment the company has to make, but nurturing the asset authentically has a much higher payoff. That's something we try to help with.
It's fair to say that influencer marketing doesn't always get a good rep. What would you say to business and brands that are wary of the space or those that have been put off by bad tales?
It's sort of like what we said earlier, this is the new reality, and these influencers are going to be out there talking about brands. Maybe they are talking about your brand, or they're talking about your competitors. You're either in that conversation or you're not.
You really want to vet the people you're working with. There is some risk with working with any external person, but I think that this is important for brands to engage in. They need to just find authentic people, engage with them directly and make sure they care about the brand.
I think the influencer marketing horror stories are mostly people not following the guidelines. They've paid someone with a big audience that has little relevance to their brand, not laid out what they want, and that's not doing influencer marketing right. It's important to put rules and guidelines in place too.
Whether you're a company engaging with it or you're a company like Sideqik trying to serve that space, you just have to be ready to change rapidly and roll with it. The companies that can adapt to the space as its changing are going to be the ones that survive and thrive.